Nightly News   |  July 22, 2013

Pope’s security at risk: ‘What were they thinking?’

Former police commissioner and NBC News national security analyst Williams Bratton says he’s never seen anything like Pope Francis’ mobbed motorcade in Brazil. It’s frightening, he added, how the Pope was trapped in the middle of the crowd.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> for more on the security concerns waerngt to bring in former police commissioner new york and l.a. and these days, nbc news national security analyst william bratton . commissioner, when you look at these pictures, what goes on in your central nervous system ? what's wrong with the picture?

>> you have to ask yourself what were they thinking? i have never seen anything like it in over 40 years in the business. the thing that you want to not allow to happen at any time in a motorcade is choke points, where you're not able to move backwards, or forwards or sideways and you look at these photos, they are extraordinarily frightening, particularly when the camera pulls away and you can see what he is trapped in the middle of. if this is the best that the brazilian security forces can do for the pope's visit, we want to watch very carefully the next couple of days because this was an absolute mess.

>> considering the fact that you and i both know there are people in the security business who replay things like the horrible assassination of yitzhak rabin in israel, look for exposures, lessons learned, everything about this will then defeat the pope's goal of having the less regal trappings of especially the end of the benedict era, where we saw the hell couldn'ter and the motorcade.

>> well, there's basically a middle ground that can be achieved. this is a pope that wants to be seen as of the people and with the people, but he also has to recognize that unfortunately, he is a target. a very highly visible target. the 1981 assassination attempt where the pope was shot four times in vatican square, the 1995 plot in the philippines that he is going to be, for all time, as pope a potential target.

>> bill bratton here with us in our new york studios tonight. commissioner, thank you very much for being with us.